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Darien Arts Center Receives Grant For Program For Those With Disabilities

Darien Arts Center instructors and volunteers, Elizabeth Hall, Rylee Mirabile, Josiah Harris, Sophie Vilter, Stephen Wood, Meghan Wood, Hannah Ferguson, Beth Cherico, Jana Powers and Marie Maccarone.
Darien Arts Center instructors and volunteers, Elizabeth Hall, Rylee Mirabile, Josiah Harris, Sophie Vilter, Stephen Wood, Meghan Wood, Hannah Ferguson, Beth Cherico, Jana Powers and Marie Maccarone. Photo Credit: contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- A Darien Arts Center dance program for kids and adults with disabilities has received a Community Fund of Darien grant.

The creative movement class called "Danceabilities" was started in 2009 by DAC Dance Director Bonnie Gombos and instructor Marie Maccarone. The program presently has 17 students.

In addition to Gombos and Maccarone, Elizabeth Hall and Jordan Cassetta currently teach Danceabilities classes with volunteer assistants at the DAC Weatherstone Studio and the Andrew Shaw Scout Cabin in Darien.

These classes provide a supportive learning environment in which students explore the world of dance by using classical ballet, tap and modern techniques, said an announcement.

They are specifically adapted to the varying capabilities of the students.

“We love that we can provide a safe, welcoming and fun environment for these special students. It would be hard to say who is happier to be in class: the teachers, or the students,” said Gombos.

The program's success and DAC's relationship with Star, Inc. enabled the center to add an art program for those with disabilities in 2014 called "Artabilities."

That program is taught by DAC Visual Arts Director Beth Cherico. It encourages students to create using varied media. Fifteen students attend the classes iin the DAC Visual Arts Studio and at Star, Inc.

For more information about these innovative programs, call the DAC at (203) 655-8683 or email bonnie@darienarts.org .

The Darien Arts Center is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.

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